US says sending envoy to Ethiopia, condemns Eritrea return to war

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The United States on Friday dispatched an envoy to Ethiopia to seek an end to renewed fighting and condemned neighboring Eritrea for re-entering the conflict in the northern region of Tigray.

US special envoy Mike Hammer will head this weekend to Ethiopia and "convey that all parties should halt military operations and engage in peace talks," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

"We condemn Eritrea's re-entry into the conflict, the continuing TPLF offensive outside of Tigray and the Ethiopian government's air strikes," she told reporters.

Fighting resumed last week in the northern region after a five-month lull, dashing hopes of peacefully resolving the nearly two-year war and of ending a humanitarian crisis in which Tigray has suffered widespread hunger.

"There is no military solution to the conflict," Jean-Pierre said.

"All parties should exercise restraint and we urge de-escalation by all actors, particularly so that there can be a resumption of humanitarian relief and basic services to all parties in need."

The Ethiopian government and the rebel Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) have traded blame for starting the latest round of hostilities.

The TPLF, once Ethiopia's dominant force, on Thursday accused historic rival Eritrea of again sending in forces as part of a major offensive with Ethiopian troops.

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